For Greene County News
FAIRBORN – Wright State University won the Hunger Cup Campaign in a friendly competition with the University of Dayton, collecting more money and food items to help ease hunger in the community.
Funds raised were donated to the Foodbank Dayton and Bogg Ministries. All food collected at Wright State was donated to the Wright State Friendship Food Pantry.
Financial donations were calculated by the dollar and food items by the pound. One dollar makes four meals and 1.2 pounds of food creates one meal.
Wright State won the competition with $1,299 in financial contributions and 2,018 pounds of food donated. The University of Dayton raised $455 and 854 pounds of donated food items. In total, Wright State provided 6,877 meals to local food-insecure families.
Financial donations are still being accepted through Oct. 10. Make a donation at crowdrise.com/HungerCup2015.
Wright State students Adrienne Lohr, Bruce Heintz, Eli Chizever, Justin Boggs, Marwa Hussain and Josh Pena created the campaign as part of a public relations course.
The project sought to engage millennials and younger individuals in the community in local causes.
“Hunger affects people 365 days a year,” Boggs said. “And it affects all ages, all different types of people, all races, education levels; there’s so many folks who are affected by hunger. We were tasked with – how do we get people to care about this?”
There are approximately 130,000 food insecure individuals in the greater Dayton area. Dayton ranked ninth in 2015 for food hardship, with Ohio being the 19th hungriest state, an indicator of food insecurity, according to data from the Food Research and Action Center.
“This campaign isn’t just about making money, it’s also about supplying food for families and others who really need it. That aspect of this whole event makes the hard work we put in worth it,” Heintz said. “We have the opportunity to come together as a community and give to those who are in need of food.”
The group members not only were able to help the community, but the project also taught them a lot for their careers.
“Easily, this project was one of the best learning experiences of my college career,” Lohr said. “Being forced to actually do something tangible and realistic was a really good indicator of what I’ll hopefully be doing after college.”
“I feel absolutely humbled by the incredible response to the Hunger Cup by both Wright State and the University of Dayton communities,” Chizever said. “I am ecstatic to see our city come together under a common cause.”
The Friendship Food Pantry placed 24 food bins around campus and every food item received in the barrels will be provided to students on campus, said Carine Verlin, director of the Friendship Food Pantry.
“During the Hunger Cup, I witnessed the involvement of students, the generosity of the Wright State community in a way that made me really proud and blessed to be part of this awesome family,” Verlin said. “If there is one thing I will keep from this great experience, it is the spirit of the Wright State community. … Together we can make a difference.”
Chizever recognized the students’ instructors, Ike Brunner, Alder Truesdale, Jason Johnston and Verlin. “We could not have served our city like we did without you all,” she said.
A trophy presentation will be held at the Wright State Friendship Food Pantry on Thursday, Oct. 15.
Wright State and the University of Dayton plan to continue the competition annually.
Story courtesy of Sarah Olsen, Wright State University.